Saiga 12 C EXP 01 Shotgun

The Saiga 12 C EXP 01 is the latest military/law enforcement version of the Saiga shotgun from Izhmash. It features a short (14″?) barrel with muzzle brake, folding skeleton stock, receiver rail and AK-style forend with under rail.

[ Many thanks to Lionel for the photos. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • noob

    hmm. is that a magwell? or a flanged top on the magazine?

  • Snowman

    It’s not a Saiga 12, it’s a Molot Vepr 12.

    • JonMac

      No it isn’t. Look more closely, notably the folding stock type and fitment (the AK-74M style hinge and latch presumably being under patent) and the number/arrangement of rivets in the receiver. This is Izhmash’s answer to the VEPR, which in turn was a tactical take on the Saiga.

      It’s damn close, I grant you, to the point where Izhmash appear to have made it compatible with Vepr mags.

      • Komrad

        Vepr is actually a series of rifles built on thicker RPK receivers instead of AK receivers. They’re nice rifles, but the shotguns aren’t available in the US for some reason.

  • DurgaMDK

    Whatever it is, sexy want!

    • Other Steve

      Trust me, this is the type of gun you think you want… until you own one.

      • alex

        wtf does that mean? this is one of the easiest guns to work on, and the most fun!!! go back to your bolt 22s!

  • Esh325

    Pretty cool. If you’ve got the coin, you can make something similar to it with a regular Saiga.

  • Brandon

    Looks nice, too bad it’s illegal like 3 different ways in America.

    • Other Steve

      Oh really? Go ahead and count them please. I’ll even forgive your ignorance that NFA != illegal, so what besides SBS what are the other two?

      • Reverend Clint

        cant be shipped to the US as it is in the pic

      • Brandon

        Barrel length, overall length and 922r compliance.

    • ragnarok220

      Illegal = it requires government paperwork

  • gunslinger

    I wonder if Red Jacket is going to come out with a Saiga with a collapsible stock and a short barrel which is “new and will change the industry”

    i mean, some special black ops, navy seal airborne para-recsue guard??? is in need of a few for his unit?

    other than that, it looks cool.

  • Other Steve


    I’m selling my S12 pretty much because of the ridiculous amount of work it takes to get one functional from a manual of arms point of view, I’ve already done the gas port work, it’s the actual running the gun that sucks. Yes, I know you can add a magwell, but now you’re talking custom mags that are fit ONLY to your gun, and that’s a lot of messing around that I don’t want.

    The Saiga is a gun that looks great on paper; AK-based so it’s got to be reliable right?! It’s mag fed so it’s got to fast to reload right?! There isn’t much to it so it’s got to be light right?! No.No.No.

    I’ll concede that the S12 makes a lot of sense if you want/need an SBS. Otherwise, there is nothing it does that a Benelli or even Remington won’t in the long run do better, more reliabily, have retain the versatility that a shotgun should have. I just can not see any point in competition, defense, fun-times, etc that I would need a high capacity SBS. So… selling it.

    • raven

      My saiga 12 runs flawless and have yet to find a brand of ammo it won’t eat. So yeah, it’s reliable. I’ve not spent much time tinkering with it at all and spent considerably more time behind the trigger. From shooting pumpkins after Halloween to even clay shooting just for the hell of it, I got much love for my saiga. I also use off the shelf surefire, factory izzy, and MD drums without any problems. Not sure how you’re loading yours, mine loads fine. It’s not the lightest shotgun I own, but I wouldn’t consider it “heavy.” You might need to hit the gym sir.

      Either you got yourself a lemon or you’re doing it wrong. Sorry man, can’t let you hate on an awesome shotgun platform.

      • Other Steve

        Sorry but you either don’t have one or you haven’t tried loading a mag on a closed bolt, which since they don’t have a bolt hold open that working with the mags you listed should happen quite a bit.

        It’s a routine fumble-fest for people that use it in 3-gun, so f-that.

  • John Doe

    An SBS Saiga is the gun that everyone wants to own until you own one. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s unbalanced, not the most reliable, and not too ergonomic.

    But still a lot of fun.

  • creamsoda09

    Oops I know this is old but it is a vepr style receiver. The area above the mag well is identical to what we could get in a spotter version here. Of course the back end is flat like a any saiga cuz its a military made rifle. I’m sure its still called a saiga 12. But that is a vepr. We would only ever know if we were able to measure the receiver.thickness

    • bob

      It is not a vepr12. it is a saiga 030 style gun. Vepr has an rpk style bulged receiver, and that is regular saiga 12 receiver. I own an iz-433 that I am converting to an 030 and it has the same receiver as the gun in the photos.

      Vepr 12 will also be available come end of october/beginning of november. You can preorder one from atlantic and other venders that are carrying them.